I’D LIKE to take a moment to highlight the scenes between Police Inspector Declan James and Dr. Thaddeus Madden in Vindictive Too. Not only were they great fun to write, but also a poignant learning experience. It was important to add diversity to my novel, as it is for all my books, but I wanted to take it a step beyond just adding LGBTQ+ content.
Both male characters are gay, but queer people are varied and complex, so their fictional counterparts should also be. Thad is Deaf, not hearing impaired. Sure, this occasionally complicates his personal and professional life, but it also enriches his experiences. Being a part of the Deaf community gives him a perspective and worldview that is distinct and quite special. Declan, however, is Hearing or a “Hearie” (a slang Deaf term), and while he knows ASL, he’s not a member of the Deaf community.
Saying I enjoyed writing the personal interactions between these two men is an understatement. Yes, there’s an instant physical attraction. However, it’s Declan’s desire to communicate with Thad using speech via lip-reading and his rusty ASL that truly surprises and excites the appreciative and very interested young doctor. The physical attraction is great for budding romance and sexual tension, but their tenderness and mutual respect genuinely endear me to these two. Declan’s instant amiable consideration of Thad’s communicative differences shows his integrity; he does not disrespectfully “other him” like the ignorant Inspector Modeste immediately does.
I found the intimacy of their communication and the desire to get to know and understand one another in professional and personal situations to be highly gratifying to explore. It was much more challenging for me to get right than scribing the titillating sexual chemistry and later passion between them. Those were still fun to write, mind you. I wonder what the future holds for these too. Anything seems possible in the city of Fairporte. I just hope they survive the experience. 😉